Monday, August 26, 2013

Keepin' it Local

Cameron & I during sunset at Mills Mansion, Staatsburg, NY

I won't speak for everyone, but I am sure I am not the only one, who as a teenager and young adult found themselves twiddling their thumbs from extreme boredom.

I grew up in a small town in "upstate" New York called Hyde Park. Turns out it is also the home of our 32nd President, Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Don't worry, this is not a post about history. Although I do recall weighing the options between sticking a fork in my neck or going to history class...another memory of being bored.

Back on track...I used to think the only form of entertainment was going to the movies or spending time with friends deciding what to do before we got so tired of thinking that we just called it a night. BUT, if we take a moment to actually look around and explore our own community, we will find ourselves to be pleasantly surprised.

Local Balloon Festival, 6am (well worth it!)

Tips for Keepin' it Local:
1. Don't over think it
2. Keep it simple
3. Check the newspaper for community events
4. Follow your town government or tourism center on Facebook
5. Follow them on Twitter
6. Dine local
7. Shop local
8. Visit any and all pick your own farms
9. Google your town
10. Find local parks
11. Find the beauty in everything

Cameron enjoying the County fair

Where to Keep it Local?
1. Farmers markets: You can find handmade items, locally made honey, maple syrup, and butter, locally grown greens, juicy, ripe fruits, buckets of apple cider, olive oils, wine and much more.
2. Pick your own/U-pick farms. These can offer anything from vegetables, fruits, flowers and fresh baked pies
3. Wineries
4. Family owned restaurants: Local ice cream shops are a no brainer!
5. Family owned stores
6. Parks
7. Lakes, rivers or even a backyard creek
8. Public & historical landmarks: Here in my community we have the Vanderbilt Mansion, Mills Mansion, FDR Roosevelt Library, Eleanore Roosevelt's summer home, the Eveready Diner (as seen on Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives), the Beekman Arms & Delamater Inn (America's oldest operating Inn), and the list goes on.
9. Drive-In movie theaters

A local U-Pick flower farm I found this summer

Pumpkin picking last fall at a farm down the street

A family owned greenhouse we explored during the winter

Why Keep it Local?
This info-graphic created by Keep it Local OK in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma breaks it down in a simple, easy to read chart. They even created a Keep it Local card to encourage people to shop local. What a great idea!

The lawn at Vanderbilt Mansion in August

The value behind keeping it local, whether it's food, business or outdoor adventure, is infinite. So get out there and find what your community has to offer. If you're unhappy where you are, move. If you can't move, find the best in what you have around you.

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